Constant Craving

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 26 Nov 2017

Member Reviews

"This second chance was a long time coming…"

I received an Advance Reader Copy for Constant Craving written by Tamara Lush and voluntarily reviewed this book. Absolute fireworks go off when Rafael Menendez and Justine Lavoie meet in a public speaking class in college, and it lasted for four years. Now over a decade later, thirty-four-year-old Justine is an accomplished publisher of her heirloomed newspaper, The Times. Unfortunately, her company is heading towards bankruptcy, and the takeover company MDA just acquired the equity firm which she had contacted for a loan shortly before the deal. The worse news: MDA is owned by one of Forbes’s richest men, her ex-boyfriend Rafael. If she can just secure a loan from him and send him on his way, she might be able to walk away from him - again.

Their past is slowly revealed during the telling of their story, with Rafael making a personal appearance to investigate her company, which is the result of a failed industry. For Justine, it is all she has left of her family, and she is fighting to save her legacy and those employees who have been loyal to her and her family all these years. When finally Rafael reveals his proposal, she agrees, because being with him once again could fill the void which has been ever-present since their relationship ended eleven years ago. Their insecurities come raging to the forefront because so much bitterness, regret, and hurt is still swirling unresolved in their hearts, and it is soon apparent that they do still seem to have love as well as magnetic sexual attraction for each other. But when they finally are able to communicate, to understand their actions towards each other, will it be enough for them to make a life together, the way it was meant to be?
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If you are in the mood for some smart smut, Constant Craving checks of a lot of boxes, diversity, second chance romance, a hero you love to hate, a kinky heroine and we even get a respectful nod to the newspaper industry. Sit back and see how Tamara Lush gets her start as a romance author and comes out swinging.
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Lovers to enemies to lovers.  Good storyline and a lot of heat between Rafael and Justine.
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
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Constant Craving by Tamara Lush is a smorgasbord of delicious tropes. Justine and Rafael's story is a combination of second chance romance, enemies to lovers, with a heaping side of quid pro quo sex, and Tamara Lush weaves them together seamlessly to create a lovely engaging romance centered around a dying city newspaper. You see Justine is a third-generation newspaper woman struggling to save her family's paper and the livelihood of all those who work for it. An executive by circumstance, but a journalist by training and heart, she is struggling to keep the lights on and the quality of the paper intact. Her last chance is with a Miami venture capital firm. A venture capitalist who turns out to be no other than her college lover, Rafael. The college lover who was a child of the Cuban boatlift - and promised her forever. That is, until he disappeared.
Heartbroken by the loss of her one true love, she forged life for herself consisting of work and safe boyfriends, the most recent of which had left her high and dry. Rafael is equally bitter by the way things ended. And they make a deal to save the paper. Maybe. Thirty days and thirty nights between the sheets for a bailout. Strictly business. Very sultry, sexy business.
The danger of piling on so many tropes is that a story can get bogged down in clichés. That never happens here. The story is so raw and real partially because Ms. Lush's depiction of the newspaper industry and its struggles in the digital age is so vivid. You get a real sense of the world that our main characters are struggling in which really forges a connection between the reader. Justine and Rafael can both be very sharp tongued and sometimes downright cruel. For this reader, it made their hurt all the more real and palpable. I liked that they had a ton of messy, jealous baggage and it wasn't glossed over. It made their love that much more believable and worth fighting for.
If you're looking for a second chance romance with grown-up, sexy, believable characters, this is the story for you. 
4.5 stars
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This is the first book by this author that I've read. This is a second chance love story with the added enemies to friends story. The prologue just sucks you into the story from the start. This book has amazing characters which are really well written. I can't wait to read more from this author in the future. 



Highly recommended

I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book
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4.5 stars!
I really, really liked this book. I liked both the heroine, who was strong and independent, and the hero, who was downright sexy. The intimate scenes were super hot, but there was more to the story than just that. Despite only being in the heroine's head, my heart went out to both of them. You could feel the love they had for each other back in college, and you could tell they were both hurt and angry about their break-up. There was a time when I wasn't sure if everything was going to turn out all right between the two of them, even though it's a romance novel. I was happy to see that they did get their HEA.
My only complaint...I would have loved an epilogue. Where did they end up living? How did Justine transition to Rafael's world? What did she do for work in the future? Ect, ect.
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I loved th concept of this story, former lovers meet again and their attraction is still as hot as it was. This has lots of steamy scenes, a nice storyline and a great read.
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am a h-u-g-e fan of second chance romances, especially ones where there's so much lingering animosity between the two lead characters. And, trust me, there's a TON between Rafael and Justine.

I really enjoyed the dynamic between Rafael and Justine—in and out of the bedroom. Rafael was part white knight and part black guard. He seemed genuine in his desire to help Justine save her business, and then he didn't.

I found myself wanting to shake them to get them to express their true feelings—to reveal what was inside their hearts. And to work through all the lingering effects of their past.

I loved how they loved each other, but part of me kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the full story behind their break-up fifteen years prior. And, once revealed, it really wasn't that big of a surprise.

I really wanted to love Constant Craving if not for the sexy AF, Spanish dirty talk alone! But I struggled to keep reading at times because Justine and Rafael got stuck inside their heads so much—more dialogue between these two would have greatly enhanced the experience. 3.5 stars
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What do you do when faced with your former lover, the love of your life, with whom you share a very painful, passionate past, and he offers you an "arrangement" wherein he'll save your newspaper if you agree to spend a month with him, indulging in the kind of passion you used to share? But, and there's a big BUT, he hates you, or at least acts as if he hates you, you're not sure you like him so much either (because he's a complete and total ass ****), yet you aren't indifferent to the jerk and you wish you were, and you REALLY want to save your newspaper and your employees and your family's legacy.

Well in Justine's case, she takes Rafael up on his offer and proceeds to have her heart torn apart again, by the same man who tore it apart before. God, Rafael was really a complete ass in the first half of their story, and I really disliked him. Actually, I never really warmed to him, and it's the main reason I couldn't rate this higher. There are a few other reasons, though, such as the first half dragged quite a bit, but the main reason I couldn't rate Constant Craving higher is because I disliked Rafael a lot. He wasn't redeemable at first, and even near the end, when he should have been kissing Justine's feet in apology, gifting her massages, diamonds and chocolates in apology, and abjectly groveling, he didn't do much to apologize. Let's just say that even though he was hot, he wasn't likable to me, and it's the why I have to rate this a 3 rather than a 4 star review.

Aside from Rafael, though, I like Constant Craving. Justine and Rafael have a lot of passion, their scenes are smokin' hot and their chemistry burns through my Kindle. I also like that the newspaper industry is presented so realistically. I used to work at a newspaper and I can relate to a lot of what she was going through what with the dying of print media and digital media taking over the market. As second chances go, Constant Craving is pretty good. Too bad its hero isn't more likable.
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Fascinating, second chance BDSM romance.

Tamara Lush did an amazing job with this story.  Rafael and Justine were a fascinating couple. They each had past events that shaped them and effected their relationship.  The juxtaposition of the college years and romance and the current one 15 years later was well done. The BDSM elements were used well in both adding sensuality and moving the story to a very satisfying ending.  I also thought Justine and Rafael's professions gave an interesting insight to changes occurring in the last decade or so.  Excellent read.
I received an Advance Reader copy of this book.
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This story reminds me of the saying if you truly love something set it free, if it comes back it was meant to be. They were complete sweethearts and then a tragedy kept then apart. Now that they rekindled their love Rafael and Justine refuse to let each other go. They will go through many lengths of strength to stay together and battle everything keeping them apart. The end of the book was a true fairytale come true and I was really happy with it! They deserve each other!
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Justine is running her family's newspaper the St Augustine Times, it was left to her by her father. Problem is newspapers aren't what they used to be, with the world turning tec it's getting harder and harder to keep the paper afloat. Justine is forced to call an investment firm for a loan to keep the paper going. One HUGE problem, when the guy from the investment firm shows up it's her College sweetheart.

Rafael arrived in America from Cuba with his aunt, they had nothing and he was alway known as the poor guy from the wrong side of the tracks until now. Now he is a billionaire who made his money in realestate. 

Not going to lie the first 40% dragged.
I liked getting the little snippets of back story as it gives more understanding of the story, again I feel the 1 person POV didn't work for me as it made it really hard to grasp Rafael's intentions and feelings but maybe that was the point. 

Anyway Rafael offers Justine an 'arrangement' she finds very hard to refuse, it will save the paper but what will it do to her heart?
It S.L.O.W.L.Y became a little more interesting and not just because of the sex, also the 'arrangement' made things more juicy. I did enjoy the Love/Hate banter, each still sour from things that happened in the past.

So here's the thing, there is a good story within this book but in my opinion it was smothered by way too much inner dialogue and over descriptive text. I struggled to finish it, it wasn't my type of read at all. 

I did really like the chemistry between Justine and Rafael, the way he spoke spanish to her was hot!!
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I can't count how many times I cried reading this. 

The Plot 
It's a long story, truly it is. No scene is useless, no scene is redundant because every scene has a purpose. I could consider this work as a masterpiece. It's written so well that I have no complaints. In the beginning I was super eager to know why and how they broke up. I had a lot of guesses and theories and all of them were right.

The Characters 
I was hurt when I first met Rafael and he is this cold, arrogant man. I understood why he's become that way, why he acts as such. Clearly he has been hurt deep. Most guys I met who have been hurt tend to turn into Rafael. Without knowing how he was in the past and only just meeting him, I tend to feel offended and hurt on behalf of Justine.

Justine on the other hand tends to get annoying sometimes but that's just how her character is designed. I've never met a person someone like her who doubts so much and goes to a conclusion immediately. She tends to be close minded and only sees one path for the future. It's not a character flaw, it's just unique for me. Most people I've met aren't like her.

However, both clearly have changed over time. For better or for worse. I love stand-alone books with character development for acceptable reasons.

The Writing 
The story is written in Justine's POV only but it shifts between past and present events. With this it has made the reading experience more intriguing and the emotions more raw. The present events reflect to past events and it makes the entire thing a treat to read.

Overall 
I am torn between wanting to read more second chance stories or not because it's bittersweet and I have a soft heart. If two belong deserve a second chance and I would want nothing more but for them to get back together. Purely 5 out of 5 stars, no, make that 6 out of 5 stars. I love this book so much and this will not be the last Tamara Lush book I'll read.
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Bit of a slow start, but it didn't take long for the story to pick up. I liked that we got to see Rafael and Justine when they were younger, and the relationship between them started. I will say that present day Rafael is not a man you want to embrace; he's more the man you love to hate (but eventually end up loving him by the end). Despite his hard exterior, I liked that Justine still had some type of sway over him, even if he was loathe to admit it. The sexy times were hot (Tamara Lush knows how to write sexy scenes!), and while the ending was a bit predictable, it didn't take away from the story at all.
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I loved Justine and Rafael's story it sucked me in right from the very start.These two blame each other for their relationship coming to an end when in truth like always both had a part to play in it.I found myself bouncing back and forwards one minute I loved them the next I hated them this is one roller coaster of a read and I could not get enough.
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This is an absolute no brainer for anyone who loves second chance to get it right romance stories.

I haven't read a lot of books by Tamara but what I have read have been excellent on all fronts. The journey of Justine and Rafael surpassed all my previous love for this author! It's sexy and romantic, not the least bit predictable and extremely captivating. These two not only have long ago history together, but they also have their own history. What I mean by that is that they not only have the hurdle of their past relationship to hopefully get right, but they individually have growth throughout the story-line as well. I'm not going to give you too much detail on the what of everything; I just want to make sure that future readers know how well this author incorporated individual growth as well as relationship growth in her story. This is key because both Justine and Rafael have to come to terms with some personal background or it would be impossible for them to move forward. And I'm happy to report they did just that :)

Okay so I'm gonna be upfront and tell you that you are positively gonna hate yourself for loving Rafael. But you just won't be able to help yourself LOL This man was so ridiculously alpha with a heart of frikkin gold! FOR REAL! And Justine is everything you would want in a heroine. She's smart and strong and knows exactly who she is. They were really well matched!

I do have a small little quibble with the whole Spanish words thrown in thing. A lot of authors do this and I don't really know why. Speaking from a Latin's perspective, when I read a book and there is a ton of Spanish thrown in where English would have served the purpose just fine, it makes me twitchy. 'We' don't do that. We don't go around throwing Spanish phrases around when we speak to people. Terms of endearment are the only exception to that. That happens a lot. But for example, to say 'gracias' instead of thank you in conversation is just basically dumb. But to say mi querida instead of my love is perfectly acceptable and constantly done. In this case, Rafael had complete grasp of the English language so a lot of his Spanish in the story just seemed unnecessary and senseless. It can be very distracting every time it's done, so it should be very minimal, imo.

Overall this was an exceptional second chance romance with a lot of heart, some twist and turns and very very sexy!

Copy provided for blog tour review
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Nice storyline and plot and unsuspected ending. I like the twists the story has and the hot chemistry between the main characters. Well written. My first book from this author but not the last.

I received a free copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review
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Constant Craving by Tamara Lush is an erotic romance that will set your Kindle on fire. As this was my first book by this author, I was not disappointed for wanting to read this book. Justine Lavoie is the publisher of the St. Augustine Times, this newspaper has been slowly going under and Justine is looking for an investor but she wasn’t expecting it to be her ex. It’s been 15 years since Rafael Menendez has seen his ex, Justine. He has a proposition for her he will save her newspaper if she spends the month with him. What will Justine do to save her family’s legacy?

Second chance romances are my favorite genre and this was fantastic. The back in forth from Justine and Rafael was really enjoyable to read; you didn’t know what the other one was going to say next.  The writing was really good and boy those bedroom scenes were HOT!
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This is my first time reading this author. I am not surprised she knocked it out the park.  There was several times I did not care for the characters: Justine or Rafael, when they constantly rehashed the reasons why they lost touch with each other due to stupidity of others. The story line was believable because it is a second chance romance.  After I got out of my own head and figured everyone makes mistakes and people/parents cannot stop interfering in other peoples lives because its part of our nature. I did love the sex was off the hook.
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Another Tamara Lush book I LOVE!!! My not-so-guilty pleasure is second chance romances between married but estranged couples or even just couples. I love that one or both might be pining after the other person. 

Justine is trying her hardest to keep her faithful newspaper from going under, because just like in real life, the print news industry is rapidly declining. And Justine does not want to do away with print news and her family's paper. So when her former lover, Rafael, comes to her rescue, she just can't believe it. But only if she will live with him for a month. 

So slightly indecent proposal-like but that's the last of the similarities. Justi and Rafa's romance is as hot as Rafa's Spanish sweet talk! They are epically combustible with heat and with temper. They have quite a history, sweet, spicy and tempestuous, and you just get swept away in reading it. 

It's over before you know it - because you can't put it down! - but so much happens that it's a full, satisfying, book hangover-inducing read!

ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
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